Box SVP Sam Schillace shares how he quickly and cheaply experimented on an app no one wanted—that became the basis for Google Docs.
Schillace says that even at companies focused on innovation, it’s hard to convince others of the value of truly new things. “Whenever you see something that’s truly creative or disruptive, it challenges your worldview. And when you’re challenged like that, you have a choice either to accept the challenge, meaning that you are in some way wrong, or reject it, which is saying that the thing itself is wrong. So it’s very rare that people will say, ‘Oh I must be stupid because I didn’t see this,’ so usually people’s first reaction is to reject them.”
Meetings want to suck. Wrest control of them with this seven-step strategy.
You know when a meeting turns into a complete waste of time? Maybe you’re trying to come up with ideas, or make a decision. Before anyone realizes it, the meeting starts to suck.
Meetings want to suck. Two of their favorite suckiness tactics are group brainstorming and group negotiation. Give them half a chance, and they’ll waste your time, sap your energy, and leave you with poor ideas and a watered-down decision. But meetings don’t have to be that way.
On the Google Ventures design team, we dislike sucky meetings as much as anyone. We use a process hack that short-circuits the worst parts of groupthink while getting the most out of different perspectives. For lack of a better name, we call it the “note-and-vote.”
The next time you need to make a decision or come up with a new idea in a group, call timeout and give the note-and-vote a try.
Last month, as I geared up to teach my daughter “Bug” to code, we built a better map of our neighborhood than Google had. On one level, it was a moment of empowerment. But on a deeper level it was a lesson about the futility of fighting Mountain View: The Fusion Tables my 6-year-old and I used to build our map are just one of a suite of Google Drive apps, and all the data we manually pulled together went back to the mothership.
Kids generally (and Bug specifically) get this. If you want a peek into how deeply they trust consumer-facing brands, drive them to McDonald’s and order them something new, and note their willingness to try anything Ronald boxes up in a Happy Meal. Now attempt to swap generic oat circles for the big yellow Cheerios box.
Kids today want to trust brands, and that’s why digital companies are trying to break into the Happy Meal demographic. Google is reportedly aiming to build child-friendly versions of its services, and the Instagram-for-kids app Kuddle raised millions in funding. This all suggests a move toward a Nickelodeon-ization of the Internet that allows you to plant your kid and walk away.
To outsiders, Silicon Valley work culture seems almost like a joke: college kids pretending to be adults in unkempt hair who show up to business meetings wearing wrinkled T-shirts with jeans. But for the people entrenched in it, what could be better?
Glassdoor on Friday released its first report on the companies with the best work culture and values, as determined by reviews and ratings by former and current employees. Not only does Twitter top the list, but tech made a strong showing overall, filling 11 of the 25 spots. Aside from the microblogging service, the list also includes Google at No. 3, Facebook at No. 5, and Apple at No. 15.
What is it that Twitter employees love about their workplace?
Susan Wojcicki built Google into a $55 billion advertising giant. Now she’s running YouTube. Her job: Do it again.
When Susan Wojcicki took over YouTube in February, she received almost as much unsolicited advice as there are YouTube videos. One open letter not-so-subtly pleaded with Wojcicki, ”So please, I’m begging you, please, please, please, don’t f*** it up.”
“With Material Design, Google has become a second reality inside touch-screen devices—complete with its own rules of logic and physics—and if Google has its way, it will eventually break free of touch screens to quite literally reshape the world around us.”